NBA Settles Out of Court With Roy Tarpley; Move Along, Nothing to See Here

Some moderately interesting news from the annals of drugged-out NBA history. As you may have heard, Roy Tarpley -- one-time Dallas Mavericks star, and perhaps the patron saint of coke-related rules violations -- filed suit against the NBA and the Mavs, claiming that his lifetime ban represented discrimination. The argument: If Tarpley's clean, no company can shut him out indefinitely just because he's got that disease called addiction. ↵
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↵Whether or not you buy it, neither the league nor Cuban's gang wanted to see this go to court. From the Dallas News: ↵
↵⇥Tarpley settled a 2007 federal lawsuit against the league and the Mavericks in which he claimed the team violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to reinstate him after he was banned for drug use. ↵⇥
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↵⇥No terms were released. ↵⇥
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↵⇥Tarpley, 44, claimed the league and the Mavericks discriminated against him because he was a recovering substance abuser. ↵
↵Now, we might not want to read to much into this settlement. After all, settlements often are just a way of making this kind of nuisance go away. But there's also a chance that Tarpley did have some shred of a case, and the NBA (mostly) didn't want to risk seeing its draconian regulations challenged in a court of law. Like baseball's formerly screwy steroids rules, professional sports leagues exist in their own little world, one that runs parallel to, or deviates sharply from, the one you and I live in. The less attention paid to them, the better. Or maybe Roy Tarpley was just too good to let back into the NBA. ↵
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↵(Suspiciously, virtually all evidence of Tarpley's professional career has disappeared from YouTube.)↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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